A Little Introduction

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Hi, everyone — people call me lots of things (some of ‘em are even printable, too!) but most folks just call me Granny.  I’ve lived a few years and learned a few things, and people around here thought that I should share some of what I’ve learned with the world in general.  Now, I don’t believe that I know more than the next person, but anytime I can help someone, my day is made, pure and simple.  So, here goes; now I’m your Granny, too! 

From my lowly position, out here in the woods, it appears to me that it’s time for all of us to get back to basics, time for us to listen to our bodies, and learn what we can do to make ‘em healthy and keep ‘em healthy.  Antibiotics aren’t the magic wand they used to be; just look at a newspaper, or do a web search on “antibiotic-resistant bacteria.”  The results you’ll turn up will likely turn your hair grey.  I know it turned mine grey.  (OK, it was already grey before the web search, but folks don’t really need to know that, do they?)  There are now resistant strains of Staph and Strep, as well as antibiotic resistant tuberculosis.  As a child, I can remember feeling very secure about my health, and my future.  After all, polio had been conquered, smallpox eradicated, whooping cough erased, all by vaccines.  And penicillin, the wonder-drug, just plain kicked all the ugly little germs to the curb.  Between the sulfa drugs and penicillin, I purely knew that I was safe.

Except that some folks develop a nasty reaction to penicillin…and I was one of them.  At five years old, my aversion to needles and shots most likely saved my little life. 

My mother was a thoroughly modern woman, and very proud of it.  She had been raised by wise women, rural women, who knew what goose grease and cod liver oil were for, who put hot, moist flannels on her chest when she caught colds.  However, with the advent of antibiotics, my mother fervently embraced modern medicine with arms flung wide.   Rather than be amazed at the skill and acuity of her grandparents and great-grandparents, she was quick to turn her back on what she considered superstition.  (Well, all except for steam, Vicks, and warm flannel…but that’s another story entirely.)  I don’t remember what type of infection that I had at the time…but my adamant refusal to allow my doctor to stick a needle in my little heinie led to a course of oral penicillin.  I can remember that, after my third oral dose of the medication, I was sitting on the carpet, watching cartoons on our black and white TV.  Suddenly, I began itching.  Absently, I started scratching, especially at a persistent itch on the bottom of my foot.  Ever vigilant, my mother asked what I was doing.  “My foot itches,” I wheezed, not noticing until I tried to speak that it was becoming pretty hard to breathe. 

I may as well mention this right off the get-go:  my mother was a brilliant woman, granddaughter of a country doctor.  In a different era, she might have become a doctor herself.  She took one look at me, called our family doctor, and had him meet us at the hospital.  I ended up having to get a “shot” in my behind after all, while fat snowflakes fell outside the hospital windows.  I know now that I had an anaphylactic reaction to penicillin which caused both internal and external hives to form.  I can remember both my mother and my doctor being very pale and nervous, while waiting for the shot to take effect.  I didn’t care; my mom had promised me a new book if I was good, and all I wanted was to get out of there and get to the drugstore to get my book!  Obviously, since I am currently writing this (and you’re currently being bored out of your gourd reading this) the antihistamine shot worked, reduced the violent allergic reaction, and allowed me to pick out that new book.  (I think that I picked out the Golden Book “Nurse Nancy” that time, because it had real band-aids attached to the inside of both covers.  And I had a sore spot in a tender area that would need a band-aid.) 

But, whether I knew it or not, the erosion of my trust in modern medicine began at precisely that moment, when I started scratching the bottom of my foot in my living room and ended up in a hospital emergency room. 

The more I live, the more I learn, the more I respect my ancestors, those brave and wise women who learned about herbs and their properties, the women who dealt with “the croup” in their children using home remedies instead of decongestants.  Don’t get me wrong; there is a place for modern medicine, for antibiotics.  We just don’t need to use them all the time.  In fact, it’s the over-use of antibiotics which has landed us in the predicament we now find ourselves in.  It’s a pretty deep hole we’ve dug, but I have no doubt that we can climb out of it…if we merely learn to use common sense instead of always relying on a “magic bullet.” 

Anyway, that’s the way I see it, out here in the Sticks. 

Stop by any time; Granny’s always glad to see you.



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The answer to "A Little Introduction"

Question asked on March 5, 2008at 3:00 pm:: Comments (0)

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